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The increasing propagation of viruses, spam, and spyware on
corporate networks is a major concern for many organizations. In fact, IT
managers and security firms have pegged spyware as 2005’s biggest
to networks.

Unfortunately, even the best administrators can fall victim
to the worst threat at some point. Cleaning machines can be a painstaking
process, and the process often requires rebooting the machine to be completely
successful. Depending on the size of your network, cleaning up after a virus
attack is often a time-consuming process.

To aid you in any clean-up efforts, Microsoft has released
the Malicious Software Removal Tool, which you can access from Microsoft’s Web
site. This tool scans for and removes software associated with a number of
threats, including Bagle, Blaster, Mimail, Mydoom, Netsky, Sober, and more.

Microsoft updates the tool each month when it releases its
security bulletin on the second Tuesday of the month. Thanks to this monthly
update, you can take steps to clean your systems of all common, removable
threats, even if they’ve just recently surfaced.

The Malicious Software Removal Tool works on computers
running Windows XP, Windows 2000, and Windows Server 2003. After you’ve run the
tool, you’ll get a report that outlines what the tool found and removed from
your system.

You have two options for using this tool. You can run it from
Microsoft’s Web site
, and the tool will delete itself after running. Or,
you can also download an
installable version
of the Malicious Software Removal Tool from Microsoft’s
Web site.